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  1. #1
    Member staranise's Avatar
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    Default advice needed! (money, travel, study)

    Hi all

    Little question that I've been pondering
    A bit of background:

    I'm an intermediate/advanced (I don't know!!) student of tribal, though I have studied oriental styles as well. I pretty much live dance at the moment; the majority of my money goes towards dance either directly or indirectly. I practice a lot, though not as often as I'd like. I want to be successful, and I know I have the creativity and passion, and yes I think I've got enough talent. But I also feel undercooked and I realise my goals are a long way ahead of me.

    I live in a city/town that has few opportunities for what I feel is advanced training. I travel often for workshops/private lessons around Australia. I am contemplating doing the "tribal pilgrimage" to the USA, to attend Tribal Fest and study tribal fusion, so I’ve been saving as much as I can. But here is part of my dilemma. Plane tickets, though they may have fallen in cost, are still expensive. Travel is expensive. And I only have so much money. I could spend the money that I might spend on travel alone on private lessons with someone more local. Is it really worth it?

    The other thing is that I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with labels and I don't want to restrict myself to just studying tribal anyway. I want to explore a wide range of styles and, to use a cliché, find my own voice. After all, that's what the "famous" tribal/fusion dancers that I admire did.

    So how do you decide what to spend money on?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member CottonAnatomy's Avatar
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    Well, I live in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area which has the highest middle eastern population in the country so there are a decent amount of options when it comes to teachers of the egyptian dance. Tribal classes are a little rarer here. The teacher I'm with currently is trained in both egyptian and tribal and she mainly performs tribal fusion, so when she teaches me a move, she teaches me both the egyptian and tribal variations and what not. Eventually I want to take a class or lesson JUST in egyptian and one JUST in tribal so as to focus on just one at a time. My boyfriend is from the Bay Area in California so I plan to organize our visits to visit his family around tribal workshops and such in that area since there are lots. Also, where I'm located in Michigan makes it easy for me to travel to a few other states and parts of Canada for classes and workshops.

    Perhaps you should just do lighter traveling instead of one big trip. Travel to random places, by bus or train instead of plane, for workshops and practice lots in your private time with videos and such...

  3. #3
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staranise View Post
    ...here is part of my dilemma. Plane tickets, though they may have fallen in cost, are still expensive. Travel is expensive. And I only have so much money. I could spend the money that I might spend on travel alone on private lessons with someone more local. Is it really worth it?
    For me it depends on what I am travelling for and why.

    For developing technique the best value for money for me would be regular private lessons with my teacher (hmmm... actually the best value would be more practising because that's REALLY cheap ). In a workshop if I'm lucky I'll get a few things to take home and work on.

    But for live inspiration, new ideas, different vibes and styles from different dancers; unless you are in a big community with it all on your doorstep what can you do but travel? Whether I go to an event ends up being a balance between who is teaching/performing, how far it is and how much of a faff to get to, and the time.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Quite a dilemma. Australia is so far from anywhere when it comes to BD. The cost to travel to places like USA or Egypt etc can be prohibitive, as on top of that you need fees for lessons/WS etc plus living expenses and spending money, which can add a hefty amount to the travel funds.

    If you can only stay for a month or 2 (depending on visas which cost as well) it can seem like an awful lot of money. If you can go for 6mths to a yr then it is probably worth it. Otherwise try travelling to Melbourne or Perth, Also I think QLD has some good dancers up there.

    If I was young and without ties I think I'd be saving up to travel to and live in places like the USA/Egypt for as long as the authorities would let me:-) But that would take a huge amount of savings unless you could get a work permit.

    Hmmmm ... I have probably added to your dilemma!
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  5. #5
    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    What you can also do is check where the big name dancers are going to be conducting workshops - belly dancing is HUGE in Asia and it'd be cheaper for you to fly to say, Taiwan or Thailand than the USA.

    I know both Carolena Nerriccio of FatChance Belly Dance and Kajira of BlackSheep Belly Dance hold intensive and certification courses in Taiwan every year so you might look into that. Tamallyn Dalal is going to be Thailand in March for Orientalia and she's going to be conducting workshops. Samantha Hasthrope will be in Malaysia in March as well. I know this isn't something long term if you're planning to study for a long time but it is a more affordable choice especially with low cost airlines from Australia to Asia.

  6. #6
    Member staranise's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies everyone.

    CottonAnatomy - I wish I lived somewhere with a higher middle eastern population. We don't even have a Resturaunt to see dancers at after the only turkish place closed down some time ago! And you are so lucky to have a place to stay in the bay area... If I were you I would be snapping that up so quickly!

    Anisesteph - I guess what I'm really after is refinement of technique to a professional level, and my teacher can't offer that as she's, how can I put this, not a professional herself. :S I know that sounds really bad. I'm considering taking privates with another teacher in the area.

    Mosaic - no I think you've helped me decide that I'm DEFINATELY going to save my lil butt off to go overseas for a longer period of time. maybe 2011 will be the year. Oh and I love Melbourne and I hope to move there soon, which would solve a lot of my problems

    and Maria - Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. Though I'm more interested in doing the longer term study it's good to know what options are available. do you know if Suhaila goes to Asia at all to do her cerification program?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Melbourne has some amazing ME restaurants ... yum! Most have dancers come in during the evening.

    There are also some fabulous dancers. Melusina from Underbelly, Is (IMO) better than Rachel Brice, she brings something very special to her dancing whether it is fusion or classical. I have seen her dancing in a large venue crowded with dancers of all levels as well as the GP and everyone just becomes rooted to the spot with mouths agape watching her. Quite a few International Dancers come to Melbourne as well, so I think spending some time here may start you on your journey, and later when you have enough saved travel to whatever country you think will give you what you seek. Excellent idea to save enough to spend some time overseas. I think that will be well worth it.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  8. #8
    Member staranise's Avatar
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    I loooooove Mel! My avatar is actually a digitally coloured version of a linocut I did of her a few years back (see here raks al sayf by ~nonipony on deviantART )

    It was the same thing when she performed at Wild Honey this year (and every other time I've seen her live), everybody was standing there with their jaws dropped.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    I heard that Mel blew everyone away at Wild Honey. She just mesmerises everyone

    Took a look at your art, you are very talented. I like the Zafira and Geisha ones in particular.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  10. #10
    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staranise View Post
    and Maria - Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. Though I'm more interested in doing the longer term study it's good to know what options are available. do you know if Suhaila goes to Asia at all to do her cerification program?
    YES! Why'd I forget Suhaila? I know she comes to Asia at least once a year but I can't remember whether it's Hongkong or Taiwan and she does various level certifications. Some of us might be flying over for certification next year.

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